Two-thirds of voters say GOP isn't doing enough to control pandemic — including 31% of Republicans

Ron DeSantis
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. William Buchanan)
Gov. Ron DeSantis, commander in chief of the Florida National Guard, addresses the crowd during a change of command ceremony at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center on April 6. During the ceremony U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Eifert assumed command from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun, who retired after 36 years of service

One number that really stood out in last month's Daily Kos/Civiqs poll was the large number of voters who say GOP elected officials aren't working hard enough to get the pandemic under control. It may seem obvious to progressives, but Republican lawmakers were really an outlier in the poll when compared to President Joe Biden and Democratic elected officials.

Here was the data on whether voters thought the following were doing enough to control the pandemic:

  • President Biden: 48% yes, 41% no
  • Democratic officials: 44% yes, 44% no
  • Republican officials: 26% yes, 64% no

    Biden is above water by 7 points, Democrats break even, but Republicans are notably 38 points underwater.

    On the one hand, of course they are! Very few GOP lawmakers are actively and consistently touting vaccination as a crucial weapon against the coronavirus, and most Republicans—or at least those making the biggest spectacle of themselves—are actively attacking pandemic mitigation efforts like vaccine and mask mandates.

    But part of what underlies those dismal GOP numbers is the fact that at least some Republican voters don't think their party is doing enough to control the pandemic—31% of registered Republicans, in fact, according to the crosstabs. That's a sizable number of GOP defections in these partisan times, and presumably many of them are vaccinated Republicans who are dismayed by their party's downright lethal, pro-plague policy stances.

    Only a bare majority of GOP voters, 52%, think their leaders are doing enough to combat the virus and, again, presumably the bulk of them are pandemic-denying anti-vaxxer mask-refusers anyway. Here's the partisan breakdown of whether voters think GOP elected officials are doing enough to control the pandemic:


    The reason this seemed worth revisiting is that it's possible that the GOP death squad could manage to alienate a sliver of their own voters by their flagrant disregard for public health and human life alike. In other words, could vaccination status start to become some sort of fault line within the GOP on a greater number of issues, leaving Democrats an opening with a sliver of those voters?

    That's a completely unproven theory, but certainly vaccination status is more predictive than partisanship of whether someone supports the president's vaccine mandates, for instance.

    Whether that pandemic dismay among a segment of GOP voters could bleed into other policy areas is the question.

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